The evolution of a process for selecting and prioritizing plant diseases for recovery plans

N. McRoberts, C. S. Thomas, J. K. Brown, F. W. Nutter, J. P. Stack, R. D. Martyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


One element of the cost of dealing with invasive species in the United States is the recovery from the arrival of exotic plant pathogens. We review the development of a process used to prioritize plant diseases for the federally mandated United State Department of Agriculture National Plant Disease Recovery System. A team of university, government, and industry scientists worked together over a 10-year period to develop a science-based objective approach to the challenge of effectively preparing for recovery plans from introduced pathogens, when the timing of the introduction of any single disease is unknown. Over time, the process transitioned from ad hoc, in which recovery plans were written when the relevant experts were able to do so, to a formally organized group-prioritization effort from which emerged the concept of generic recovery plan templates for groups of pathogens and diseases that have similar biological characteristics, and therefore, similar management approaches. Key characteristics for each template were determined through a multivariate analysis for 14 plant diseases for which a recovery plan already existed. The process was validated by a larger group of 15 plant pathologists, for which results were compared with those scored by 14 subject matter experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalPlant disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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